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Ask Joe: Why are so many cars getting towed from the DMV lot?

Ask Joe: Why are so many cars getting towed from the DMV lot?

From the Ask Joe file, we are looking into a question about something that is really hitting a nerve with a lot of people these days: parking at the Reno/Sparks DMV.

Rosie Mann sent me a three-page letter spelling out how she parked at the DMV on Galletti Way in what she thought was a legal parking space and her car got towed.

She says there is a red curb, but there's also a faded white line making it look like a regular parking spot, and other cars had parked there before her.

So her question: Why is the DMV towing these cars?

Here's what I found out:

There is a red curb but there is also a faded white line as Rosie pointed out. There did not seem to be any no parking signs in the immediate area.

I checked with Alex Smith at the DMV about this. She says first of all, that spot is clearly a red zone, although the DMV doesn't paint the curbs; that's the fire department's responsibility. The Reno Fire Department has told the DMV the area has to be clear for emergency vehicles to get in an out.

When we checked it out on Wednesday there was a temporary no-parking sign that had been posted in the spot where Rosie had parked her car. So it seems the DMV is making an effort to mark the area more clearly as a "no parking" area.

It is a frustrating situation all around. Smith says even the DMV employees are impacted by the parking situation. There is just not enough parking to go around.

So how often are cars getting towed? I checked the numbers. Since September 2015 through last March of this year, about 1,000 cars have been towed from the DMV lot on Galletti Way.

When you figure it's at least $200 to get your car out of the impound lot, the towing companies have collected about $200,000 in that time, just in towing cars from the DMV.

There is a long term solution in the works. Nevada lawmakers are currently considering funding for a new DMV building in South Meadows. If funding is approved, the new building could be up by 2019.

In the meantime, be careful where you park!

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